“Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Is this really our experience? I am sure that all of us have had the experience of asking for something in prayer and not receiving it. We prayed for an answer on an exam because we didn’t study but never received the answer! Maybe next time study harder. Sometimes we do not know even what to ask for or what we want to receive. I remember when my father was dying, I wasn’t sure what to ask for: should I ask God to keep him alive? That would just prolong his pain. I didn’t want to ask God to take him. My mother had the wise words: “Let’s pray that he will continue to be in the hands of God. God’s will be done.”
Jesus teaches us about prayer and how to pray in today’s Gospel. Jesus tells us to pray with “persistence” and trust. He doesn’t mean that we need to badger God as if God doesn’t hear us or forgets our petitions. The persistence that Jesus means is a trusting persistence: God is always with us and “walks with us on the journey of life.”
Jesus teaches us that we can trust God even more than our parents who know to give good gifts: “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Jesus doesn’t literally mean that parents are “wicked” rather he means that parents, like all of us, are imperfect. If we who are imperfect know how to give good gifts how much more will the perfect God give us the holy Spirit? God may not give us everything that we ask for but he does give us the holy Spirit, God’s divine presence, to guide us and pick us up when we fall. In this way God continues to walk with us on the journey of life.